The beginning of the school year can be a stressful time for not only a student, but for their parent, too. After all, everyone is in this together. And while you do everything you need to make sure that your child is prepared, many parents find themselves needing a little preparation themselves.
They want to know what to expect when it comes to their child’s teacher, the amount of homework that will be given and what their child will be doing in class each and every day. With that said, here are ten questions to ask your child’s teacher and why they are important.
9 How Do You Assess Progress?
First and foremost, every parent should ask their child’s teacher how they plan on assessing their classwork, their homework and their tests this year.
If the teacher plans on posting the grades online, ask them about the frequency and what can be expected. There are some teachers that update their online gradebook every night, while others might do it on a weekly basis.
If everyone is on the same page, it might avoid some confusion later on down the road. Remember, communication is key. It’s always a better idea to ask during the beginning of the year, rather then when confusion arises.
8 How Much Homework Will Be Given?
This is a question that not only parents want to know, but every student as well. After all, every teacher has a different schedule and even a different opinion when it comes to homework.
Some prefer not to assign it at all, while others think that a little reassessment at home doesn’t hurt. And then there are other teachers who don’t give homework but expect their students to study every night or at least a few nights before a major test.
Remember, ask, ask, and ask. Your child’s teacher should never get tired of answering too many questions. Let them know that you are willing to help with homework, too.
7 Where Can My Child Improve?
As many parents know, no child is perfect, especially when it comes to their academics. For some kids, school can be a breeze, while for others it can be a downright struggle. For other kids they might be doing very well in most of their subjects but falling behind in something important like math or science.
Either way, ask your child’s teacher what their policy is on making up work and extra credit. Also, communicate with them throughout the year and ask them about tips on how you can help your child improve. It really does take a village.
6 How Can I Support You?
These are five little words that many teachers don’t hear but definitely want to hear more often: how can I support you?
Let’s face it: teaching is not an easy job, regardless if you are at a public school, a private school or if you homeschool. You basically have the world’s future in your hands, times how many kids you have in your classroom.
Teachers want to get their work done right because they know it’s up to them to produce the best that society can offer. So any help that parents can provide is more than just greatly appreciated.
5 How Can I Contact You?
As mentioned above, communication is key. You want to ask your child’s teacher what is the best way that you can contact them from the first day of school.
Some teachers prefer e-mail. Others don’t mind phone calls, while some do things the old-fashioned way with a handwritten note that you can stick in your child’s folder. Either way, the door should be open for you.
Also, if your teacher has certain visiting hours or is most likely online during certain hours of the day, make sure to make a note of it.
4 How Do You Promote Innovative Thinking?
Here’s something else that a lot of parents don’t really think to ask their children’s teachers: how do you promote innovative thinking?
While it’s very important to know their algebra, their science terms, and their geography, more and more teachers are pushing their students to think more creatively and with an open mind.
Sure, memorizing answers for questions on a test has been part of the school norm for many years, but times are changing. Teachers want their students to think outside the box, so to speak. And the only way for that to happen is if they learn how to think and analyze for themselves.
3 How Can I Get My Kids To Read?
While there’s no doubt that there’s a good number of kids who love reading (and would rather read a book then spend an entire night looking at a tablet screen), there are others who need a little encouragement.
Sometimes just giving a child a book and expecting them to go through the pages doesn’t always work. That’s why it’s up to parents to ask their child’s teacher for different or creative ways to help encourage reading at home.
Just remember, every child is different and there isn’t always a definitely answer. But your child’s teacher can certainly help each step along the way.
2 What Should I Ask My Child?
Not only do you need to ask your child’s teacher certain questions throughout the year, but you should also be keeping up with your own child, too.
Rather than ask them about how their day went or who they played with during their recess time, parents are encouraged to ask their children about their school work, their progress or any upcoming tests.
Also, ask your child’s teacher if there’s anything else that you need to ask on your end. They should have some helpful tips and can give you a little insight as to what your child is doing in the classroom.
1 What Is Your Take On Personalized Learning?
This is something else that a lot of parents don’t think of during that all-important orientation day or open house: what is your child’s teacher’s take on personalized learning?
With about two dozen students in a classroom, teachers can easily get caught up on their work. However, not every child progresses the same way. Sometimes there are kids who need to take a step back or some that need to take a faster step forward.
Ask your child’s teacher if the school has any programs in place for personalized learning. After all, we know that every child is different in the classroom.
With so much emphasis on what parents should do, there are certainly a lot of things that they shouldn’t be doing. For example, putting too much stress and pressure on their child to achieve at school. That, or set unrealistic goals that they can’t achieve.
Whatever the case, definitely talk things out with your child’s teacher. They might be aware of things that probably aren’t on your radar. Because let’s face it, some teachers end up spending more time with a child than a parent does at home. With that said, they can definitely help guide you so that everyone has a successful academic year.